Jump to content
IGNORED

Medusa. A restoration of mythical proportions.


Recommended Posts

Looking back to when I got my very first pinball machine in 2017, I knew absolutely nothing about them, just thought it would be a really cool hobby to get into. I bought a players condition machine which had a couple of little things wrong with it, and so as a newbie I called a local company to "service it". $600 later and with most of the problems still there, I thought to myself - I really have to learn the techinical side of these things or this is going to be a very expensive hobby.

 

I bought a working but trashed Stern Magic that needed a bit of a cosmetic overhaul - a play field swap, mech cleaning, and a little board work (lamp board scr and solenoid TIP changes) etc. I know nothing about any of that, I didn't even own a solerving Iron at the time!!! I really enjoyed the process, asked questions and learned heaps, and having done that one I got bitten by the restoration bug.

 

Roll on 2020 and the COVID lockdowns. I thought that a full resoration, learning as I went would be a great way thing to keep me busy. I posted on facebook, asking if anyone had a project machine that they were not going to get around to that I could purchase from them.

 

A lovely bloke from Vic got in touch and I got my hands on a Medusa that needed a hell of a lot of work to it. Fortunately he had purchased 99% of what was needed and so I basically bought a project ready to go. It arrived in the Depot 2 days Before Xmas and before long I was into it. 7 months on, and it's done (apart from a few tiny things). So here are a few pictures and a bit of a story of my Medusa restoration.

Edited by Grefla
  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I took it off the pallet it was a very sorry looking machine - Water damaged, the back of the cabinet rotten, all metal was rusty. I immediately started to strip it down.

1982084736_2021-06-0702_36.52-1.thumb.jpg.83e643ee0570d63cc1268e66d6e70081.jpg

338361211_2020-12-2113_47_32.thumb.jpg.25c3d0bc6892e6c11d68c10c5e9ae79e.jpg

1217594627_2020-12-2208_36_20.thumb.jpg.a356f6628a8fa62c3144b5600dfa8f07.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When the seller described the machine to me he said that the cabinet would a complete rebuild, and the metal parts sent off to be plated. I thought that I wanted to do as much of this process myself and outsource as little (hopefully none). So I looked on here and found a post about electroplating, bought a kit from Janekits. I took the metal parts, soaked them to get the rust off, cleaned on the wheel, and then plated them and polished them. It is a time consuming process, and I had a few failed plates, but after a while I got the hang of it.

550200649_2021-01-1311_05_39.thumb.jpg.be067254909a3a3e6483a24aca9ebe47.jpg

1104529365_2021-02-2108_28_29.thumb.jpg.5e21a7544ba5c407a61c21f77351cdf0.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cabinet repair and painting - I didn't take as many photos of this stage as I should have, but basically rebuilt the back of the cabinet, sanded the whole cabinet to bare wood. I googled for the best way to do this, and found a few Aussie based you tube videos and took their advice for which products to use. I filled the cracks, and holes with builders bog, and laid down a primer coat with rattle can filler primer from super cheap auto. left it for a week and then laid down the base coat. I probably wasn't the most cost effective but I used duplicolour spray so get the best colour I could, and ensure consistency for future touch ups. (Luckily the cans were on special at SCA but I still spent a fair bit on paint). I left the base coat to dry for a week, and cracked on with more electroplating.

2064483996_2021-01-1810_57_16.thumb.jpg.c24ebeff85cbffd11af29c44753f87b8.jpg

1362781136_2021-01-1811_06_36.thumb.jpg.b1d02b5003687bcf932753f31a832de6.jpg

1815462244_2021-02-0622_23_03.thumb.jpg.bdfbdbaf3bf12fea7b1f03ab484a5c2e.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stencilling - The stencils came with the machine, which was super handy. Unfortunately I had left them in the garage in the 40 degree summer days and they had crinkled. This was the first time I had stencilled, and so was nervous about it, and having crinkly stencils made me even more nervous. Again, the Gold was from SCA. I watched a number of videos on how to do it and then took a big breath and got on with it. The first side I did, I left the stencil on too long and the paint lifted a little in places (Thankfully nothing that couldn't be touched up though). I learned my lesson and the remainder of the stencilling went without incident.

2096915233_2021-02-1310_23_29.thumb.jpg.98eb18fe9890512e7eef4768ec4b233c.jpg

1663799501_2021-02-2108_25_08.thumb.jpg.dc78daac980810e690d3a8f95ac926ec.jpg

1037288310_2021-02-2621_46_09.thumb.jpg.e959a544baa3a061795a64257c1848e1.jpg

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The headbox insert was next - The display trays were rusty as hell. I cleaned them on the wheel and then plated them. Sanded and painted the insert. I was going to do just the front side and leave the back, but when I'd finished the front side, the back side looked aweful, the braid was corroded and I couldn't leave it. I happened to be chatting to Doug in Melbourne at the time and asked his advice. I ended up replacing the braid and changing all of the sockets to bayonette. I'm glad I did.

578837247_2021-03-2113_03_46.thumb.jpg.3f896b6727f34b57fb7afe52dbcd2572.jpg

1428053137_2021-03-2113_13_24.thumb.jpg.d4540ff9f302e634e0e265222ca3ddc5.jpg

1968353403_2021-04-1711_38_00.thumb.jpg.0b0d35315d28b01c9062bf3683e56497.jpg

293469854_2021-04-1716_39_11.thumb.jpg.fa6431bb77b7166c34320df0666042c3.jpg

495103657_2021-04-2017_20_35.thumb.jpg.2eb34a73081d4bf41fc56f87c8b7a8e1.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Coin door - The next thing I attacked was the coin door - the front was fairly good, but the mechs on the back were coroded - so off it came, stripped, cleaned up on the wheel and polished.

2028465704_2021-04-0911_58_05.thumb.jpg.61725b33a6121f291a958300fdef553e.jpg

381514843_2021-04-0911_58_19.thumb.jpg.83f57ebe079b68f1675894d8445929b2.jpg

997997852_2021-04-0912_52_47.thumb.jpg.5a4af692d262b5c72fc9c18b0b40e929.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The MPU that came with it was shot, and had all of the chips missing, so when the machine arrived I ordered a multiboard from Weebly. By the time I had gotten to the point of having the cabinet restored and reassembled, the board arrived, and I put the whole thing back together for a test play. It fired up and I had a few games, but it wasn't working properly. I didn't actually take any photos of it back together at this stage. I'm not sure why I didn't. I managed to track the problem down the the aux solenoid drive board under the playfield. Troubleshooting other problems the sound was OK, but not great quality and there were several lights not working. So at this point I trouble shot lighting and the boards, intially replacing the broken globes, changing a few SCRs on the LDB as I had intended to use adaptors for LEDs on the original boards but in the end, I was ordering a new aux Solenoid driver board and another board for one of my other machines, so I figured I'd used the adaptors in one of my unrestored games and I ended up putting in new lamp and aux lamp boards and aux SDB, as well as replacing all of the caps on the squaek and talk board, and the caps on the SDB ( new boards from Weebly and caps and rebuild kits from Big Daddy).

1910749423_2021-04-1218_11_00.thumb.jpg.68a634f803950618ecb1b264b44e8178.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whilst waiting for the boards to arrive I took out the Drop target assemblies and gave them a service. Polishing the non coroded parts, and cleaning and replating the corroded parts. I installed new drop targets, and new translucent targets at the back of the playfield. It took 10 weeks for the boards to arrive. They turned up at the end of May. I put them in and everything worked, I installed LEDs from Scribbly gum throughout and at this point had a fully working Medusa. This was the end of May I'd spent 5 months of my "family time" on this new hobby. At this point I thought about stopping and leaving the machine as it was. So I did, for a month. Had a few games, but just wasn't happy. I knew it needed the full restoration to continue.

1512843653_2021-05-0512_36_20.thumb.jpg.de4bd658a408bc52a3a2e82f00e7e386.jpg

869930826_2021-05-1913_15_38.thumb.jpg.4e20efad52b2c71f9fb8bad3e32acec7.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So In June I decided to get back into it. Taking the Zipper flippers off and giving them a clean, again plating the bits that needed it, and polishing everything else. Rather than put it back onto the original playfield I put it straight onto the new one. I did the same for the sling shots, and then the flipper plates.

983797721_2021-06-3013_35_48.thumb.jpg.0c050b432d83aa18128f677e8217becb.jpg

1464780678_2021-06-2915_46_21.thumb.jpg.e564d521f94d7bd3273aa42360f0eade.jpg

20929875_2021-06-3011_45_58.thumb.jpg.a009ab84602aa6d63ebc1723135894ea.jpg

1831661174_2021-07-0117_33_39.thumb.jpg.6d3aa24c9bb2686a401fde46f2c6843e.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Playfield Swap. So July was apon us and the time had come for the playfield swap. I'd been dreading it for the past month or so. There is so much under there. The playfield swap for Magic had given me an understanding of what was needed. So I got the new one up on the rotisserie and the old one face down on the table and got into it.

1111438367_2021-07-0516_27_05.thumb.jpg.e342b24d5d12cf3fd692d02eace02fd3.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The second day of the playfield swap, everything was lifted on the cardboard onto the new playfield. What I hadn't realised was that the holes in the CPR playfields are merely just a guide, and in many cases they don't quite line up with the mechs. Thus day 2, day 3 and day 4 involved lining up, drilling and fastening everything to the new playfield, and resoldering the coils of the slingshots etc that I has disconnected for the move. But finally after 4 evenings of working on it, the underside of the playfield was done, the cleaned pop bumpers installed, and new translucent flipper bats on.

529738089_2021-07-1414_48_27.thumb.jpg.f9be09f428a65ccc0ab673505fb80e46.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Time to flip her over and do the top side. Again, a similar learning experience with this. The playfield had been clearcoated and the clearcoat had had years to harden. The predrilled and prepunched holes needed to be drilled out, and the clear needed to be drilled away from the holes otherwise, inserting a post without doing this caused the clear to chip. Fortunately I only had to learn this lesson once, and the chip was completely concealed under a post right at the back which was covered by a plastic, and no where near the visible playfield. But yes a lesson learned. The whole playfield reassembly took 3 weeks as I was doing it in the evenings after work, and as I found issues I addressed them. Like polishing the lane guides etc. During this period the side rails needed to be repainted as they were pretty scratched up. So I sanded them back, primed them with the same SCA primer as I did the cab. I was going to just redo them in black, but I thought I'd make my Medusa unique. So I decided I'd do them in the same gold that I did the cabinet stencil in. I thought it would look good against the red inside of the cabinet. So the rails got a top coat with the gold paint and then I clearcoated them for durability.

1509775268_2021-07-1415_48_52.thumb.jpg.c20ef4eaa75c427ef3e69941060541d0.jpg

1721670383_2021-07-2214_00_13.thumb.jpg.09eb2bddc00b38ed227dc5c238d94eee.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Play field back in, then the backglass on and some playfield glass to protect it whilst it's in the garage. A few test plays, to fix up switch distances etc. Flippers were a bit weak so I replaced the cabinet flipper switches and the EOS switches for the lower and upper flippers. A few more games in the garage, and then she was ready to move into the house.

2142696472_2021-07-2422_59.09-1.thumb.jpg.688fe043eb96e178f4fe734bca891e3a.jpg

427693632_2021-07-3100_45_40.thumb.jpg.1653d17a1dc15b92c2dc11938442078d.jpg

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great work and great detailed thread.

I read in another resto thread they run the drill in reverse to prevent cracking the clear coat, then drilled the holes normally once the clear coat surface was scored.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Done (kind of) - Moved her into the house, Vampire glass on. Looks amazing. Plays well. She is as good as done. Just a few very little things to do to her, which I'll get to eventually:

 

1. I need to find a 7 digit display for Player 4.

2. The coin slots need something doing to them (currently have German pricing and a paper prototype medusa picture that I mocked up).

3. I need to print rule cards onto card and put them in (just on paper at the moment),

4. I need to decide if I'm going to restaple all of the service cards into the headbox or leave it uncluttered.

5. Flipper rebuild - I'm contemplating new coils and rebuilds of all 4 flippers - it plays OK but this would make it as new.

 

All in all 7 months of my free time. Kept me out of trouble and reduced the alcohol intake over lockdowns.

 

Would I do it again? If you asked me a month ago I would have said "Never" but now that it's done. Yes I would!

1647059805_2021-08-0217_23_56.thumb.jpg.f83040f9bf0d42c517305f711fad1f30.jpg

  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great work and great detailed thread.

I read in another resto thread they run the drill in reverse to prevent cracking the clear coat, then drilled the holes normally once the clear coat surface was scored.

That’s a good idea.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great job you've done and good on you for the perseverance and not afraid of having a go or learning something new.

 

I can help with the coin slot thing. I'll send you a pm.

Rule cards, flipper coil wrappers and tech info cards are available at Inkochnito's Pinball Score and Instruction cards. (pinballrebel.com) thanks to Peter who is also a member here.

Some custom apron cards are available at Kens Custom Pinball Instruction Card & Free Play Card Page (pinballrebel.com) thanks to Ken

 

I print the above out on photo paper so its easy to wipe over and the paper is a little stronger.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great job you've done and good on you for the perseverance and not afraid of having a go or learning something new.

 

I can help with the coin slot thing. I'll send you a pm.

Rule cards, flipper coil wrappers and tech info cards are available at Inkochnito's Pinball Score and Instruction cards. (pinballrebel.com) thanks to Peter who is also a member here.

Some custom apron cards are available at Kens Custom Pinball Instruction Card & Free Play Card Page (pinballrebel.com) thanks to Ken

 

I print the above out on photo paper so its easy to wipe over and the paper is a little stronger.

 

That's Awesome, Thanks for the links. I had found the rule cards, but not Ken's Custom cards - I'll print them off. Getting closer to wrapping it up now!

 

I'm loving this forum - so many helpful people.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...